15 Unsigned Rappers Who Should Get a Deal After SXSW

Iamsu!

Affiliations: HBK Gang
Previous Releases: T-Minus; 3, 2, 1...; Su The Right Thing; Young California; The Miseducation of IAMSU!; Stoopid with Jay Ant; Kilt; $uzy 6 $peed; Million Dollar Afro with Problem
X-Factor: Incredible producer; has verifiable hit song.
At SXSW?: Yes

Iamsu!'s initial exposure to the wider world didn't come under his own name. "Up!" was a major hit for Iamsu!'s associate LoveRance, hitting No. 2 on the U.S. Rap charts and even garnering a 50 Cent cameo.

Iamsu!'s production skills are his most obvious strength; a bounce-y, club-friendly production style that is pop-friendly, but also resolutely hip-hop. While many other artists of Iamsu!'s generation in hip-hop are retro-obsessed to a fault, his remakes of past-rap classics—say, "Summer Anthem" for fellow HBK Gang member Kool John—are full-on reinventions of the source material, transforming them into relevant, entertaining jams rather than bland textual rewrites.

It's also a lot of fun to hear rappers play around with his beats' tightly-wound rhythms. This is truly evident on Iamsu!'s latest project with rapper Problem, Million Dollar Afro, which shows that Iamsu!'s own rap style is becoming worthy of notice as well.

Video That Sold Us: Iamsu! "Mobbin'"

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